Team USA retained the Mosconi Cup with an 11-8 success over Team Europe on Thanksgiving at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
The American side, aiming to repeat their win in London last year, began the final day with an 8-7 lead and made an early statement of intent as Billy Thorpe beat Jayson Shaw, the decisive moment coming in the seventh as Shaw punched the 3-ball to the top pocket but saw it rattle the draw, allowing Thorpe to take the rack and run out for victory in the next.
Eklent Kaci hit back in style for Europe, defeating Tyler Styer 5-1. Momentum swung back to the home side when Shane van Boening defeated Alexander Kazakis 5-3, taking America to the Mosconi Cup hill at 10-8.
Next up was Joshua Filler for Europe, with many expecting him to narrow the deficit. But Skyler Woodward relished the occasion and was celebrating with the crowd on their feet before he had even played the 5/9 combination for a 5-3 victory which sealed the cup and his own second successive Most Valuable Player title.
“Today I came out focused, ready to play and I had a feeling I would be playing Filler,” said Woodward, who earns an invite to March’s World Pool Masters as MVP. “From the beginning I said I wanted to play Filler.
“I wouldn’t rather have a different team. We lost eight in a row but we won two in a row. This is the best team we could have and we are all good friends. I wouldn’t rather have anybody else backing me up than these guys.”
Thorpe added: “I knew I was going up against one of their best players, Jayson like Josh has so much firepower. I knew I had to come out, stay swinging and not let up on my stroke. We will be ready next year to defend the trophy. We will all be ready to go overseas and make it three years in a row.”
European captain Marcus Chamat said: “We came here to USA 10 days ago. We have stuck together for the whole 10 days, we came here as a team and we will leave here as a team. We stood beside each other the whole time and I am really proud of this team. Things weren’t going our way and Joshua put up some great performances. Without him it wouldn’t be 11-8.
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